Tag Archives: 2016 presidential election

Aftermath

30 Nov

The Democrats lost an election they should have won.  The Senate lead for the Republicans had narrowed and a Republican will be president despite the Democrat winning more popular votes.  No I’m not talking about this past election I am referring to the 2000 election.  I bring this up because history has a tendency to repeat itself.  I am also saying this to people who were as disappointed as I was by the election results.

Before I went to bed on election night I learned that Hillary Clinton had called president-elect Donald Trump to concede the election.  Like most of the country I was stunned.  What caused him to win in an upset?  Hillary Clinton did not do enough to win over working class people.  She expected to win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania instead of campaigning hard to win them.  The WikiLeaks hack and the DNC favoring her over Bernie in the primaries also cost her.  Her email scandal and the FBI announcement weeks before the election didn’t help.  We won’t know all of the reasons why she lost for a while but what I mentioned covers the bulk of it.

The Democrats are in a bind.  They lost senate races that they were favored to win.  Donald Trump will get to appoint at least one Supreme Court justice because the Republicans blocked President Obama’s appointment to the Supreme Court.  The Democrats have several options, fight, compromise, or do both.   My hope is that the Democrats don’t obstruct the way the Republicans did under Obama.  Trump says he wants to get infrastructure spending done.  If he wants to get it done, the Democrats should work with him on it.  There has also been bipartisan talk about investigating the Russians trying to influence our election.

I do think they should fight Trump on his extreme proposals.  Donald Trump has said that he wants to create a Muslim registry.  If he tries to implement that I hope that the Democrats and at least some Republicans will block it.  If the Republicans try to privatize Medicare or Social Security I hope the Democrats block it from happening.  I do however want to see the government fully functional with a long-term budget getting passed and not temporary stopgap measures like we have seen in recent years.

The next four years will be interesting to say the least.  The mid-term elections are only 2 years away.  Keep your head up Democrats and get your act together. Otherwise it is going to be a very long four years.

The Home Stretch

31 Oct

We are in the home stretch of the presidential election.  The candidates are making their final arguments to the voters and early voting is happening as we speak.  This election is important, but also a disappointing one.  With less than two weeks until the general election we have two most unpopular candidates in modern history.  In this presidential race we have reached the bottom.

In the beginning of the month an old tape of Donald Trump was released where he admitted to sexual harassment at the very least and sexual assault at worst.  The Access Hollywood tape has effectively ended the presidential race.  Republicans have finally condemned him and some have rescinded their condemnation of him.  The damage has been done.  After he got the nomination I thought that he had a slim chance of winning because of his tendency to act like a toddler.  The Access Hollywood tape has put his campaign in jeopardy and may even put the House Republican majority in jeopardy.

Republicans running for the House and Senate are in a bind.  Congressmen Joe Heck of Nevada is running for the U.S. Senate in Nevada.  His previous support for Trump may cost the Republicans a chance at picking up a senate seat.  Some Republicans are at risk of losing support if they abandon Trump.  What you are seeing happening right now is exactly what Republican insiders were afraid of when Trump announced his run last year.  He is damaging Republicans down ticket.

After the 2012 election the Republicans did an analysis on why they lost.  Although Romney won a high percentage of the white vote he lost women and Hispanics which cost Romney the election.  The Republican Party vowed change to appeal to more voters, but nominating Trump has done the opposite.  Trump is on track to get a lower vote of Hispanics than Romney did and Trump’s comments on women will cause him to lose a majority of the female vote.  The Republican establishment wanted to pass an immigration bill but they were unable to get it through the House of Representatives because Tea Party Republicans objected to it.

What happens after the election is somewhat uncertain.  If Trump loses (which he likely will) he will leave the Republican Party in ruins.  Trump’s supporters will probably blame a rigged system as well as the base of the Republican Party for not supporting Trump.  The Republican base will blame Trump and rightfully so for blowing a winnable election.  None of this had to happen.  If the Republicans nominated John Kasich or almost any other Republican candidate they would be leading Hillary Clinton.  The Republican Party will need to quell the talks of the election being rigged.

I will close my final blog before the election with this.  Please vote.  It is one of the most important things you can do as a citizen.  Go to www.ballotready.org and research candidates positions on the election and find your polling place.

Dirty Campaigning

31 Mar

There have been few if any clean election campaigns. Thomas Jefferson once called John Adams a hermaphrodite (look it up).  Many people remember President Lyndon Johnson’s infamous daisy ad or George W. Bush’s Swiftboat ads against Senator Kerry.  Dirty or negative campaigning has been going on for some time.  Recently though, we have been digging further to the bottom.

This year’s presidential race is now down to 5 candidates. All of the candidates have been attacking each other but one feud has gotten particularly ugly and that is between Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.  It started before the Iowa caucuses when Trump went after Cruz to try to close the gap between them in the caucuses.  Recently it has escalated over each other’s wives.  I think that as long as the candidates significant others don’t make overwhelmingly controversial statements, they should be off-limits.

I understand why Ted Cruz is upset but he is certainly the wrong person giving the message. Senator Cruz hasn’t done much in the Senate besides obstruct and be a demagogue.  He accused former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel of getting money from North Korea without providing the slightest bit of evidence.  Before the Iowa Caucuses’ Senator Cruz spread rumors that Ben Carson had dropped out.  He also sent out a borderline illegal letter to voters in Iowa impersonating the Secretary of State’s office in Iowa.  The Republican primary race has devolved further since then.

Donald Trump’s supporters and rallies are worse than Trump himself has acted. People are being kicked out of rallies for doing nothing other than being different.  Trump’s rallies have become even worse over time.  Some of his recent rallies include people getting kicked out for protesting.  There have been outbreaks of violence by his supporters and even his campaign manager.  That is not how campaign rallies are suppose to happen.

Donald Trump is doing next to nothing to quell the violence in his rallies. He is even encouraging violence at his rallies.  Trump’s opponents have been calling him out on this.  I don’t blame a candidate for all of their supporters but it is the candidates’ job to tone down the rhetoric.  On the Democratic side there have been disagreements on approach and policy, but nothing compared to the rhetoric on the Republican side.

I mentioned in my previous blog post that Donald Trump has been able to get this far partially because of the racism that exists in the Republican Party. In some ways it goes beyond that.  In 2008 we saw the birth of the Tea Party (yes, you read that correctly).  At Sarah Palin’s rallies, she would say, “What do we know about the real Barack Obama?”  People in the crowd shouted, “Terrorist, kill him!”  Sarah Palin stood there and smiled.  Senator McCain quelled some of the anger at their rallies.  It was from those rallies that the Tea Party were born.

Right now there are three candidates running for president on the Republican side. Two out of the three have most of the Tea Party support.  Donald Trump’s rhetoric matches what the Tea Party have said in the past.  In the last presidential election the Tea Party candidates lost.  They are making a comeback in the Republican primaries with a disastrous effect on their party.  The Tea Party cost the Republicans control of congress in 2010 and 2012.  This time it could cost them the presidency and control of the Senate.  Donald Trump is the current front runner for the Republican nomination for president.  As bad as he is for the Republican Party he is worse for the country.  I have no confidence in Donald Trump’s temperament as a candidate, because judging by the way Trump runs his campaign rallies; he’s not fit to run our country.

2016 Preview

31 Jan

Tomorrow will begin what will be an incredibly busy election year.  The Iowa Caucuses will be followed next week by the primary in New Hampshire.  We certainly won’t know who the nominee of either party will be in the following weeks, but we will see the candidates list start to narrow.  It is likely that this year both nomination fights will go on longer than usual.

Senator Ted Cruz seemed like he was going to win Iowa until Donald Trump went on the attack.  Most of the Republican candidates are placing their bets on other primaries and caucuses.  Ohio governor John Kasich and former Florida governor Jeb Bush need to place in the top 3 or even 4 in the New Hampshire primary or one of them may drop out.  Donald Trump will probably win Iowa and has a good chance of winning New Hampshire.

The Democratic primaries will most likely be a two person race towards the end of the primary process like it was in 2008.  I think that Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will split Iowa and New Hampshire.  (Bernie will probably win New Hampshire, while Hilary could squeak out a win in Iowa)  There are some similarities between the 2008 democratic presidential primaries and there are some differences.  Hilary Clinton is better prepared this time around.  She has locked up many endorsements heading into this year.  In 2008 she underestimated Barack Obama and the support he got in his party.

This year Bernie Sanders is running with fewer endorsements than Obama had in 2008.  That doesn’t mean Bernie Sanders doesn’t have a chance at winning the nomination.  Bernie Sanders has energy in his campaign that Hilary Clinton does not.  Senator Sanders also faces a tougher road then Clinton after Iowa and New Hampshire.  Martin O’Malley is at this point a long shot for the Democratic nomination for president.  He isn’t raising the money that his opponents are and he isn’t catching on with voters like his opponents.

Something that is sometimes overlooked this year are the U.S. Senate elections.  The Democrats are in good shape to take back the Senate this year, especially if Donald Trump were to win the Republican nomination for president.  Republican Senators in IL, WI, OH, and NH are vulnerable not to mention potentially close races in FL, KY and PA.  As I have said before, politics are constantly changing so we won’t know for sure what will happen until Election Day.  It’s going to be in interesting election year.

2015 Recap

28 Dec

This year brought more insanity in politics, an odd/offensive person as front-runner of the Republican Party, and terrorist attacks by ISIS.  We saw the retirement of a legend in news and satire as well as the return of Stephen Colbert.  In addition to that Republicans took control of congress for the first time in almost 10 years.  A new congressperson became Speaker of the House.  All of this is leading up to another presidential election year.

I’ve been remiss to mention Donald Trump in my blog, but there is no denying he is the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president.  I still have doubts he will win his party’s nomination.  Even if he were to get his party’s nomination he would face a near-impossible climb to the presidency.  He has alienated Hispanics, which are crucial to winning any presidential election.  He also has offended many other groups of people.   There is nothing genuine about Trump.  His most recent proposals to ban Muslims and suggesting that they should be registered should disqualify him from the presidency.

The other thing that this year brought was ISIS committing several terrorist attacks across the globe.  You can bet that will be a main topic during the presidential election next year.  ISIS is not much different than Al Qaeda.  If we can defeat Al Qaeda (which seemed insurmountable 14 years ago) we can beat ISIS.  In fighting ISIS we must have a strategy outside of militarily.  If we decide to block Syrian refugees as some Republicans have suggested, we are showing the world that we are as intolerant as ISIS.

Towards the end of the year Jon Stewart ended his long run with the Daily Show.  In an era where people don’t pay attention to the news, Jon Stewart drew people’s attention.   He covered what was important and became one of the most trusted sources of news.   After he left the Daily Show he helped bring awareness to the 9/11 first responders re-authorization.

One of the biggest changes of the year is that Gay Marriage is now legal in all 50 states.  The opinion of gay marriage has also changed among the people in the U.S.  A majority now support gay marriage.  The fight for gay rights aren’t over, but it took a huge step this year.  Gay marriage and gay rights will be a main topic in the election next year.

As with every presidential year, next year will be interesting.  The Iowa caucuses will be in the beginning of February.  New Hampshire will soon follow.  On the Democratic side, I think Hilary Clinton will be the nominee.  The Republican side is wide open.  Donald Trump could win some primaries, but the nomination fight will likely continue for several months.  Marco Rubio could make a race out of it if he wins one of the early primary or caucus state.  It will likely be a close election.  Stay tuned.

2015 Blog Intro

30 Jan

One crazy year in politics ends and another begins.  This year will bring new battles for immigration, health care and more.  I don’t think anything substantial will get done this year but one can always hope.  By March, we will know some of the 2016 contenders and get a glimpse into their platform.  The only area where I think significant things will happen will be in foreign policy.  Keep an eye on Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as their votes this year will be an indicator on what they will run in 2016.

President Obama’s executive order on immigration has put the GOP in a tricky situation.  While the Republicans are mad at the president for his executive order, they can’t do much to undo it.  It also puts the GOP at risk of losing another presidential election unless they change their stance on immigration reform, which I don’t see happening.  Senator Marco Rubio is especially in a bind because he is now in a position where he has to criticize President Obama’s executive order while praising key elements of it.

The Affordable Care Act will also be center stage again when The Supreme Court reviews another key part of the law.  If the law survives another Supreme Court decision and a Democrat is elected president in 2016 The Affordable Care Act will likely remain law of the land for a long time.  If more people are covered under the law, then it will be harder for Republicans to attack it during a presidential campaign.  The Republican primary however will be a competition on who hates the Health Care law the most.

The Keystone XL pipeline is being debated right now, as it has been for several years.  It has passed both the House and the Senate but won’t survive President Obama’s veto.  It will likely be another issue debated in the next election.  The biggest issues in the next election will probably be the economy and income inequality.  Some GOP 2016 hopefuls are already talking about income inequality.  Above all this year be on the lookout for different candidates announcing who will be running for president next year.